Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Traveling With Four Legged Passengers

Whether you’re gearing up for a family vacation or making a move, traveling with your dog can be both fun and challenging. It definitely isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, but with a little planning and forethought, you can make the trip exciting and fun for you both!

Traveling by car

Just like traveling with kids, you’re going to have to stop for plenty of bathroom breaks. Make sure you have a leash in easy reach, as you won’t always be lucky enough to stop right next to a fenced park. A brisk walk, game of fetch, or just some plain old running around will help them stretch their legs and get rid of any built-up energy. Bring collapsible bowls for both food and water. Also ensure that you take along a lot of dog waste bags so you’re able to clean up after them at each rest stop or in case your stops don’t have designated pet waste stations.

Traveling by plane

First and foremost, check with your airline to familiarize yourself with their pet travel policies. Small dogs (under 15 pounds) may be allowed to travel crated in the cabin, but any dog over 15 pounds will be in the cargo area. Your furry flight companion’s crate should be sturdy, well padded, ventilated on three sides and large enough for them to turn around in. If you choose to sedate the dog, be sure to consult your veterinarian. Do not feed your dog for six hours prior to the flight, but provide water in an attachable dish in the crate. Direct flights at off-peak hours are ideal, as take-off and landing only occur once and airline staff will have more time to properly care for your dog.

Staying in Hotels

When staying at a pet-friendly hotel, a little bit of home goes a long way to making your dog more comfortable. Bring their favorite blanket, usual food and water bowls and a few toys. You may want to bring a throw or blanket to protect the hotel’s bedding from muddy or dirty paws if your dog sleeps in the bed. If they are crated at home, it is a good idea to crate them in the hotel room as well. Finally, turning the television on at a low volume while you are gone can help discourage barking, as it covers background noise.

Most importantly, remember that dogs can feel most uncomfortable when their routine is broken, or when they don’t know what’s coming next so the very best thing you can do for them is to have patience and give them lots of love!

Thanks goes out to Kristina for this guest post!!!

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